Man receives two years in fatal Port Deposit crash
ELKTON —A Baltimore County man received a twoyear prison term on Tuesday in connection with a September 2015 single-vehicle crash in Port Deposit that killed his companion and severed the defendant’s legs from the knees down.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Brenda A. Sexton imposed a maximum three-year sentence on Lloyd Alvin Harris, 57, of Essex, for his criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter conviction and then suspended one year of it. The judge also levied a consecutive, maximum one-year sentence, which she suspended, for Harris’ related driving with a revoked license conviction.
“Incarceration is warranted,” Sexton commented from the bench, listing the seriousness of Harris’ convictions relating to the fatal crash and the defendant’s extensive criminal record as factors in reaching the sentence.
The judge said she also considered that Harris relies on a wheelchair and that he has related health issues, as a result of losing the lower halves of his legs in the fatal crash. During Tuesday’s proceeding, Harris was seated at the defense table in a wheelchair.
Sexton ordered Harris to serve two years of super- vised probation after completing his two-year term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
In December, a Cecil County Circuit Court jury convicted Harris of criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter and driving with a revoked license, after deliberating approximately two hours at the conclusion of a two-day trial.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia A. Fitzgerald recommended a three-year sentence after reporting that state sentencing guidelines, which are based on a defendant’s criminal record and other factors, indicated three years of incarceration for Harris.
Along those lines, Fitzgerald reported that Harris has a lengthy criminal record, with his arrests and convictions relating to drugs, theft, prostitution and other offenses.
Sexton denied a request from Harris’ assistant public defender, Denise Winston, that her client be allowed to serve his two-year term on home detention. The judge also rejected a defense request to set a prison report date for Harris, allowing him to remain free for a brief period to put his affairs in order.
“This hearing (sentencing) has been scheduled for months; I’m not going to postpone his report date,” Sexton responded from the bench.
Harris was taken into custody inside the courtroom immediately after sentencing.
While convicting Harris on two of the counts after the December trial, the jury acquitted him of the most serious charge, gross negligent vehicular homicide, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.
Prosecutors maintained at trial that Harris exceeded the speed limit while driving a sport utility vehicle southbound on Route 222 about 5 a.m. Sept. 20, 2015. Moreover, the state contended that Harris, as a result of him driving at an excessive speed, lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a bridge abutment.
Killed in the crash was Harris’ passenger, Kirk Dennison, a 46-year-old Street man who was pronounced dead at the scene. Harris, who was airlifted from the crash scene, suffered severe leg injuries that resulted in him losing those limbs from the knees down and spending a lengthy time in the hospital and then many months in a nursing home.
The defense maintained at trial that Dennison, who owned the SUV, was the driver and that Harris was the passenger.
Two good Samaritans, however, pulled Harris from the driver’s seat and Dennison from the passenger’s seat, according to state testimony.